Things To Remember

things you want to remember

I want to start a journal.

I’ve wanted to start a journal a million times, and have nearly as many books with one to three entries. Sometimes, I have even tried digital journals. I’ve tried to turn this poor blog into a journal, and I’ve tried to keep Word documents as journals.

Why–if I keep repeatedly failing–do I still want to start a journal?

I have lots of reasons, and no reasons at all. Maybe the most compelling things aren’t really properly defined reasons at all, just quiet, sneaking suspicions in the back of my mind, like Einstein’s little pinky finger.

There a wonderful things, probably every day, that we need help remembering. Not just 50 years from now, or 5 years from now–right now. What wonderful thing did you witness today? What seared you today, with a sharp edge, but maybe not big enough to really be noticed–something like a paper cut to the soul?

It almost seems that having a journal would be a mark of respect for the awe of the life you have been given to live. It’s unfolding, like a flower; you don’t know what it will look like when it’s fully open, but can you not at least appreciate what you have been able to see yet?

But you have to be patient, waiting for flowers to open. And I’m not patient. And that’s why I need a journal and why I can’t seem to keep one, all rolled into one.

Maybe this time I won’t fall asleep in the garden.

3 Responses to Things To Remember

  1. I agree that our personal journaling in regard to its worth for ourselves is primarily the remembering found in the act of writing. I think journals are, in the main, rarely read again by their authors. To write something is to remember it as much as to read it.

  2. First, I disagree with Rundy. I reread my journals all the time (well, actually in spurts, but frequently). Sometimes it’s discouraging, and sometimes the opposite. A tip: don’t feel like you have to write every day. I don’t write daily, I don’t even always write weekly (again, I go in spurts). I write a lot when I get the urge that I need to sort things out by writing. I didn’t have that urge ’til I started journaling of course.

    As I am running out of room in my current journal, and frantically trying to get another one I’ve been thinking about journaling a lot lately. I’ve journaled for years now, so it seems easy. But it’s just like any other (good) habit — getting started is the hardest part.

  3. I think the lovely thing about journals is that they can function in so many tasks. I think a lot of journals are rarely read; I think there is much to be gained simply from the act of writing.

    But I think there’s a lot to be gained from reading them, too–from their own authors, and even from others. I think some journals are too personal to even consider someone else reading them (!!).

    Part of the question is, why are you journaling? I write copiously in spiral bound notebooks, but they are NOT journals, and my greatest hope is that they’re all burned before I die, thank you very much and keep your nose out of it. (Others might say that’s still a very good description of a journal, but I digress.) (Clearly, I’m rather sensitive about about my spiral bound notebooks! 🙂 )

    What I want to start writing is a journal that can be read. By myself, yes, but by others. I want to start a physical object that can be handled and observed and read when I’m gone, and maybe even read by others while I’m still here.

    I guess the main observation of my post was that a journal that is interesting to read is only one that was interesting to write. If I’m not fascinated by putting down the words, it’s going to be a tedious read later on. But that doesn’t mean I have to wait for something wonderful or terrible to happen; I just have to open my eyes.

    I’d like to start a lot of good habits, though. . .including writing here more, and including more of my photography. I write posts in my head all the time, but they rarely make to the screen, which is sad.

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